Exposed to music since he was a kid - he was once part of the Australian Boys Choir - Jesse Spencer pursued an acting career while studying at Scotch College in Melbourne, Australia. While studying, he auditioned for a role in the Australian soap Neighbours, and successfully got the role of easygoing Billy Kennedy. The role earned him fame in Australia and the United Kingdom, where the show is also aired. It also earned him two nominations for the Logie Awards.
Spencer departed the soap in 2000 (save for a cameo appearance five years later), after which he focused on films such as Winning London and Swimming Upstream. In 2003 he appeared in the comedy Uptown Girls, alongside Dakota Fanning and the late Brittany Murphy. In 2004, he joined the cast of the Fox medical drama House, appearing as surgeon Jesse Spencer. He was later engaged to his co-star Jennifer Morrison, but the two broke off in 2007.
After the conclusion of House, Spencer moved on to play the role of Matthew Casey on Chicago Fire.
Spencer also dabbled in theater, having appeared in Melbourne stage productions as early as 1991. He also performed in productions staged in the UK and in Los Angeles. A trained musician, Spencer is also a member of Band from TV, alongside Greg Grunberg and House co-star Hugh Laurie.
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
- His family is quite involved in medicine: his father is a radiologist, his two brothers are doctors, and his sister was a medical intern. This set-up is similar to the characters he played in the Aussie soap Neighbours and the American series House.
- He has played the violin since the age of 10. He also plays the guitar, bass and piano.
- He sang the song "Molly Smiles" on the Uptown Girls soundtrack.
- He is fluent in French.
- Austrlians in Film Breakthrough Award, Golden Boomerang Award, 2006 (for House)
- Swimming Upstream (2003)
- Uptown Girls (2003)
- Flourish (2006)
- Tell-Tale (2010)
- Neighbours (regular, 1994-2000, 2005)
- House (regular, 2004-2012)
- Chicago Fire (regular, 2012-present)
"I'm glad I'm back to being a nobody."
On all his siblings being doctors: "I'm the black sheep of the family."
On the similarities between him and his Neighbours character: "Like Billy, my dad is a GP and my two eldest brothers are, too. If I wasn't acting, I would have definitely gone into medicine, too. It's totally fascinating."
"Mum decided that I could sing a bit, so she put me in a choir, which I hated and it was just a nightmare. I was a rebellious sort of choirboy."
"I started off with violin, then I started learning guitar, then I went to piano. But I self-taught piano just because I enjoyed it. I've always really enjoyed music. I haven't played much the last four years because I've been traveling around, so when I got this role [Neal in Uptown Girls], I had to start playing the guitar again."